As most of you know, because of my job, I spend a lot of time on the road. No matter where they send me though, my routine is pretty much the same. Monday through Friday belongs to the company I work for. But the weekends are all mine. If I’m close enough, I try to get home, even if it’s only long enough to get a good night’s sleep in my own bed and breakfast with my family on Sunday morning before heading out again.
Most of the time, I’m only gone for a week, maybe two, and it’s not that big a deal. But for the last three months, I’ve been stuck out in western Nebraska. The trip home was almost 600 miles, one way and it just didn’t make sense to make it.
So being the wandering kind of guy I am, I’ve tried to make the most of it. I’ve always been interested in history and western Nebraska is full of interesting places. I’ve written about some of the places I’ve visited. I’ve told you stories about the places along the Oregon Trail I’ve seen. Places like Ash Hollow. It was an old settlement along the Oregon trail where the wagon trains crossed the North Platte river on their way out to Oregon. Several weeks ago, I told you the story about Windlass Hill. It’s a steep hill the settlers had to navigate their way down to even reach Ash Hollow. Some of them made it down safely, some didn’t. I talked about walking along the actual ruts the wagons made along this trail so many years ago. It’s a pretty humbling experience if you think about it.
Yeah, I’ve told you the stories alright. The one‘s I wanted to talk about anyway. What I haven’t told you about though, is the down-side of living on the road. You’re hundreds of miles away from home for weeks at a time and it can be pretty lonely. And believe it or not, even for an old, married guy like myself, there are temptations to deal with.
I don’t know, maybe it was just a weak moment. I’m not proud of what I did, but after being married for 30 years I finally gave into the temptation. And I liked it.
I was making my back to Nebraska from a weekend, road trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was getting late in the evening and it had been raining off and on all day. I was tired and hungry and really wanted to find some place to get off the road for a while and maybe get something to eat. Just outside a little town called Torrington, Wyoming I came across a small, local diner. The place looked deserted but the neon sign on the front window was flashing that they were indeed open for business. I figured, what the hell. And went on in. What could it hurt?
The place was kind of dark inside and the first thing I noticed was the waitress, sitting alone in a booth rolling silverware. I asked her if they were open. She assured me they were and told me to sit anywhere I wanted, in the mean time, she asked me what I wanted to drink. I told her just a glass of water and a cup of coffee would be fine.
She finished what she was doing and brought my drinks over. I could tell by the way she carried herself she was a confident woman and maybe even a little sassy. I guess it was the way she snapped the gum she was chewing. She asked me where I was from. I told her. I pointed out that business seemed pretty slow and asked where all the other employees were. She told me that ever since her husband had taken off, it was just her most of the time. She handed me a menu and slowly walked across the room to the juke box and played a couple of old, sad, country songs.
She came back over to my table with an ornery look on her face and asked if I’d seen anything I liked. She kind of winked at me and said I could have anything I wanted.. Not sure what to say, I asked her what she recommended.
She told me she made the best Lasagna in the world and said I’d really be missing out if I didn’t try it. Alright, the Lasagna it is. And yes, it was the best Lasagna I’d ever eaten in my life.
You gotta understand, because of the schedules my wife and I keep, I’ve always done most of the cooking in my house. But if there’s anything she takes great pride in, it’s her Lasagna. And I knew full well if she knew another woman was cooking it for me, she’d kill me. I also knew she’d kill me twice if she thought for a minute I liked another woman’s Lasagna better than I did hers.
I hadn’t gone twenty miles before my wife called to see where I was and what I was doing. I told her I’d just stopped in Wyoming for a bite to eat and was on my back to Nebraska. So, what’d you have to eat, you old fool. I thought about it a minute and told her just another chicken fry and a coke. Stupid temptations anyway.
Stop by the blog this week. Just don’t mention that another woman cooked for me: www.rm235.blogspot.com